Aug 20, 2014

Review: Zombie Halloween

Zombie Halloween
Zombie Halloween by R.L. Stine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description:
The infamous, Most Wanted Goosebumps characters are out on the loose and after you. Just in time for Halloween, a super special edition!

Kenny Manzetti was the new kid in town. His family moved back in to an old house to help take care of his grandfather. Everyone in his new neighborhood is obsessed with zombies--even Grandpa Mo. But then a new family moves in next door and there choice in furniture is...interesting.

Kenny is convinced that there is something strange about the new neighbors but his parents won't listen to him. So Kenny and his friends go in for a closer look. A bad idea on any day but definitely the wrong choice around Halloween. Will Kenny survive long enough to go trick or treating?

With an extended page count this special edition is a scream!


My brother, who is now 30, was a huge Goosebumps fan as a young reader. The Goosebumps books, by R. L. Stine, have a long history of scaring the bejeebies out of young readers. This installment with children living near a graveyard & the fear of the zombies possibly looming outside does not disappoint. I received a free copy of this young readers book free of charge to provide an honest review of.

I love that good, clean, spook books like this are still being written, and are still so popular among children 8, 9 & up who want a good scare with lots of action and suspense. Even as an adult, I get a little creep from the fast moving action as opposed to the grown up (slow moving) books I usually read.

Let's hear it for the master author for young readers over the past few decades ~ R.L. Stine.

Many boys (& I'm sure some girls) wouldn't even be reading at all if they weren't able to get their hands on Goosebumps books!

View all my reviews

Aug 7, 2014

Review: Seed Savers:Treasure

Seed Savers:Treasure
Seed Savers:Treasure by S. Smith

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Two kids, two bikes, and an idea they can change their world.

It’s 2077. There’s no apocalypse, but some things are different. Things like the weather, the internet, and food. In twelve-year-old Clare’s world, blueberry is just a flavor and apples are found only in fairy tales.

Then one day Clare meets an old woman who teaches her about seeds and real food. The woman (Ana) tempts Clare with the notion that food exists other than the square, processed, packaged food she has always known. Under Ana’s tutelage, Clare and her friends learn about seeds and gardening despite suspicions that such actions are illegal.

When the authorities discover the children’s forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother, Clare and her brother flee. Clare has heard of a place called "The Garden State," and with their bikes, a little money, and backpacks, the children begin a lonely cross-country journey that tests them both physically and spiritually. Will they succeed in their quest to find a place of food freedom? And can they, only children, help change the world?

Treasure is a gentle dystopian, frightening only is the possibility that we may not be far from the future it paints.


This book had a good idea, but there were so many things that I would NOT want my child to do ... Allow an adult to talk him into growing an illegal plant , have me go to jail for it, keep secrets from me because a lady at church or tutoring said to, when I went to jail TAKE OFF on a bike, stay with a stranger for days & then take a map & travel 400 miles to a border never giving their jailed mom another thought!!! Bringing the Bible verses in as they lie to other kids to get help finding a house, and care nothing about people along the way?? It's conflicting to have them following the Bible while breaking the law & feeling good about their ability to trick and lie so well.

I was provided this book free of charge for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Review: V is for Villain

V is for Villain
V is for Villain by Peter Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description:

Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad's basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn't measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he's happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

But when they're pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he's on. And once he does, there's no turning back.

Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it's good to be bad.


I will be honest. when I started reading V is for Villain, I almost instantly hated the "Hero" kids. They were mostly just a bunch of bullies... Especially Brad's brother Blake who thinks he is so important & is so high on his ego that he doesn't care what may be behind the reasons he gets to be violent with the "bad guys" & he also feels entitled to boss and bully and constantly humiliate his own brother Brad just because Brad isn't a super strong human. I would get so aggravated because too often real life teaches us that no matter how good we do, there is too often a jealous sibling (or others) trying to constantly knock us down our whole lives. It is as if they have to belittle you to feel their own importance. Brad has decided that he does not have to feel useless and ashamed the way his bully brother needs him to feel.

I liked that we could get more into Brad's typical teen thoughts via the footnotes and loved that things did look up for him because of his super intelligence. Brad figures out many things that will hopefully make his life easier and less humiliating, and with the help of a friend discovers a huge talent of his own to go with the super intelligence.

This book says a lot about sibling rivalry gone way too far, and the reasons many of the bullied become seen as villains and joyfully accept that title. I am happy to say that I was provided this book by the publishers for honest review. I might not have typically picked up a "superhero" book on my own. I am very glad to have had the pleasure of reading this Peter Moore creation and will look forward to more in the future.

Go Villians go!

View all my reviews

Aug 6, 2014

Review: Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000

Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000
Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 by Dav Pilkey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When the Incredible Robo-Plunger defeated the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, George and Harold thought their toilet troubles were over. Unfortunately, their porcelain problems were only beginning . . .

Just when you thought it was safe to flush . . .

The Turbo Toilet 2000 strikes back! The carnivorous commode known for devouring everything in its path has built up a real appetite . . . for REVENGE! Join Captain Underpants for another epic showdown of Wedgie Power vs. Potty Power as our tighty-whitey-wearing superhero GOES TO ELEVEN!


I will admit that when my 9 year old first read one of the earlier books in this series, I looked at the cover & title & immediately thought "Oh no". I assumed the book was crude, rude, and possible inappropriate. I was given this 11th book in the series to read to provide an honest review so my son & I read it together. I was pleasantly surprised that it was more about fun and adventure than anything.

Kids find underpants funny. It's just a fact of life and Dav Pilkey hit the nail on the head with this whole series. The boys, George and Harold, are of course mischievous and always into something, but their hearts are in the right place and the stories provide an abundance of laugh out loud reading. My son loves books that also have even basic / cartoonish illustrations with the story. I say, "Whatever keeps him reading."

Pleasantly surprised and love that books like this keep my 9 year old interested in reading! Great job of keeping kids reading.

View all my reviews

Review: I Need a New Butt!

I Need a New Butt!
I Need a New Butt! by Dawn McMillan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations. Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it!


This book really cracked me up!

This children's book was so crazy. You know how young kids like butt or poot stories. This book is not exactly manner related, but it is not offensive & basically child appropriate if you allow your child to have a good laugh when they toot or hear the word butt.

I was given a free copy of this book via the publisher for an honest opinion. I believe if a child is reading it is a good thing ... even if it is a silly book. Definitely silly & definitely going to get some laughs from most young readers.

View all my reviews

Aug 4, 2014

Review: Eerie Elementary #2: The Locker Ate Lucy!

Eerie Elementary #2: The Locker Ate Lucy!
Eerie Elementary #2: The Locker Ate Lucy! by Jack Chabert

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Eerie Elementary series is a great series for beginning readers that like a little scare without going to the R.L. Stine / Goosebumps level. I have read both books in this series and really liked the mystery and suspense that is appropriate to a young reader's level. It's not shockingly horrifying and wouldn't be as likely to cause nightmares as some books that are out there.

It's an interesting concept to think about ... A school being alive. I like that nobody is actually being hurt (for a young audience) and that there isn't a bit cliff hanger for them to worry about after the book. Scary, but not over the edge for a young audience.

View all my reviews

Jul 29, 2014

Review: The Whispering Skull

The Whispering Skull
The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2)
by Jonathan Stroud (Goodreads Author)
4.54 of 5 stars 4.54 · rating details · 46 ratings · 23 reviews
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn't made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood's investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.

Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George's curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.

Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood's annoyance. Bickerstaff's coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.

The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 16th 2014 by Disney Hyperion (first published August 28th 2014)
original titleThe Whispering Skull
ISBN 142316492X (ISBN13: 9781423164920)
edition languageEnglish
seriesLockwood & Co. #2
other editions (10)


Part way update as I read:

So far I am loving this book. It is an awesome ghost chasing book for teens based in London. I would loved to have gotten my hands on a book this fun as a teen around 12 or up.

Over half finished. Lockwood is pretty mysterious and I am with the skull wanting to get out in the open what Lockwood is hiding behind the door in the 3 ghost / detective's office. I have always loved detective stories as a child especially when there was a touch of supernatural or a boogie chase.

Once finished I hated that there wasn't just a little more. I imagine there will be ALOT more in a next installment / future mystery. I love that in this series it is common "real life" that teens have psychic type powers and are able to somewhat communicate with the dead. The skull in this particular book makes you furious, but it is also hard to not laugh your tail off in parts. I want to thank the publishers for providing me with this book to give an honest review of. It was one heck of a spook ride that I thoroughly enjoyed to the end.

The characters each have their own quirks and personalities that'd both aid in detecting & also make cause for human disruption. Business is business though and their stiff competition is always on their heels (or in a bush watching).
Exciting, mysterious, spooky, and fun filled throughout.

View all my reviews

Review: Cartboy Goes to Camp

Cartboy Goes to Camp
Cartboy Goes to Camp by L.A. Campbell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is the laugh-out-loud sequel to L. A. Campbell’s Cartboy and the Time Capsule.

Hopelessly hapless Hal Rifkind, a.k.a. Cartboy, is off to summer camp. And not just any old camp, but history camp. Campers have to learn how to churn butter, plant maize, and carry water from the stream—or they get punished for not doing their chores. What else could possibly go wrong for Cartboy? Read Hal’s journal to find out!

Filled with photos, drawings, and timelines, Hal’s journal chronicles his hilarious adventures at Camp Jamestown—where nothing has changed in 400 years.

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Starscape (first published April 1st 2014)
ISBN0765333279 (ISBN13: 9780765333278)
other editions (1)

Cartboy Goes to Camp is a typical camp / parents trying to force their goals down your throat point of view of a young kid but has the bonus of being told in the journal style with humorous drawings to carry the story along. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review so I did not read the first book in the series. It is pretty obvious from the beginning that Cartboy is already made fun of at school for carrying his books in an old lady cart. Appears to be another of his day's ideas.

I like books that actual kids can relate to & just from some of my own childhood memories, I could relate to Cartboy. He gets with a "not so popular" crowd at camp. Some luckily are devoted to the idea of the camp. Cartboy just can't seem to fit at first plus his -# 1 bully is of course at camp! Bla.

Our main character is disappointed in everything as well as himself before it's over, but there is a good ending that makes all the bad worth going through to find true friends, connect with dad, & rid the bully.... A good hearted and discovery type adventure.

View all my reviews